in praise of boredom!

With Lily home from school for the summer, and only at day camp two mornings per week, there's a lot of free time in her schedule. My temptation at first was to fill her schedule with enrichment activities, which was quickly nixed when I saw the prices of most of them. When that option wasn't possible, I started thinking of what we would do to fill our time, which quickly became an anxiety-driven pastime.

That was two months ago, and I can assure you our summer hasn't been action-packed. Yes, we joined Brad on a work-related trip to Quebec city for a night, and we were able to sneak away to Charlevoix for three nights, but the day to day around here is pretty simple. The five days per week that Lily doesn't spend time doing organized fun things out of the house, we just do life together. And it's been great.

We do errands, groceries, laundry, and dishes. We make beds and deliver meals and study the Bible. We go on walks and see friends and eat food (our intake of ice cream admittedly jumps in the summer months!). We are lucky to have a stellar public pool a few blocks away and many parks with splash pads within walking distance, but we also lay low a lot of the time.

We've tried to limit screen time during the warmer months, so there's a lot of general boredom which leads to creativity and self-made fun. I love seeing the kids create a new game or use their imaginations to act out some hilarious scenarios (recently Lily and Oli are the parents and Chloe is their child who is forever going to the hospital for boo boos). What I don't love is being responsible for my kid's fun every second of the day, so I've decided I'm not doing to be. When I've stepped back, they've always flourished. The thing is, they're actually way more creative than I am, and I'm doing them a favour by refusing to provide a new activity on the hour, every hour.

I used to think bored kids equaled trouble. They'll fight more, they'll make a bigger mess, they'll get caught up in all kinds of unsavoury things. And while there is something to supervision (this isn't a free-pass for me to be on my iphone all day), I find they're better for their boredom, and I need to actively stop myself from jumping in and trying to solve every problem or help with every snag.

Here's to boring summers! May they lead to creative, proficient, able kids!

1 comment:

  1. Here here! Love this. I definitely agree that it only will benefit the child to have to use their imagination for how to fill their time!